Fort Wayne, IN Flyer Derails Into Freight, Aug 1911
Tracks Are Torn Up.
The police department, fire department, and every ambulance in the city were called to the scene of the accident, and the injured were soon taken to hospitals. The main track and the track on which the freight train was located were torn up for a distance of 200 yards. The two engines of the flier were torn from their trucks and thrown down the embankment, while the engine of the freight reared up over the trucks of the fliers engines.
Passengers in the seven rear cars escaped with only cuts and bruises. It is declared by railroad men that if the cars had been of the old-fashioned wood construction the carnage would have been frightful.
The all-steel cars of the flier were put to the first actual wreck test they have ever undergone. Only the first two cars of the heavy nine-car train were much smashed.
Several Injured May Die.
The wrecking crew from Fort Wayne arrived at the scene within half an hour, while the wrecking trains from Crestline and Chicago arrived leter in the evening. Thirty more passengers, who are badly bruised and cut, are at the Anthony Hotel.
Several of the injured at a late hour tonight are in an extremely serious condition, and it is expected their deaths will occur before morning.
Evidence seems to point to the fact that the flier, going at an extreme rate of speed over a temporary switch, was the chief cause of the accident. From Valparaiso to Winona Lake the engine which brought the train out of Chicago was going badly, so the engine which was to take the train from Fort Wayne to Crestline was sent to Winona Lake to meet the flier.
C. C. CHATTELL, of Chicago, was in the dining car when the accident occurred. He escaped with only slight injuries to his head and face.
Hurled Length Of Car.
"The train was running at a terrific rate of speed," he declared. "The first intimation I had that anything was wrong was when all the passengers in the dining car were thrown headlong the entire length of the car. The next thing I realized was that men were fighting like beasts to get out of the car, and the steam escaping from the kitchen was choking us. Another man and I fell to the floor and crawled along in the semidarkness and among the screaming men to a window, through which we made our escape."
CHARLES P. SKILLMAN, of this city, who lives directly across from the spot where the wreck occurred, saw the whole thing, as he was sitting on his veranda at the time.